The largest ever aerospace machining facility in the country was inaugurated by the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at Hattargi village in Karnataka on August 27.
In a major boost to the Bharatiya Aerospace Sector, the largest ever aerospace machining facility in the country, was inaugurated by the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at an impressive ceremony held at the sprawling campus of the Aequs SEZ (Special Economic Zone) at Hattargi village on the outskirts of Belagavi in Karnataka on August 27. This facility meant exclusively to meet the needs of the European aircraft major, Airbus Industries, has an inbuilt capability to accommodate as many as 150 advanced CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) machines. Involving a total investment of US$50-million over a period of next five years, this facility has the potential to generate revenue of US$75-million annually and also provide employment to over 1,000 skilled professionals. Roundly complimenting Aequs SEZ for its vigorous efforts to take the Bharatiya Aerospace Sector to the next level of growth, Parrikar observed, “I am delighted to see Bharatiya companies creating value in the global aerospace industry and supporting the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The biggest chunk of ‘Make in India’ can come from defence. There is a possibility of making $8-10-billion worth defence products in Bharat over the next five years if some of the deals in the pipeline go through. With the revised offset policy, both the Indian and foreign investors will benefit from technology transfer opportunities as well as the ability to form joint ventures in support of Indian defence procurement projects”.
This facility purpose built to manufacture aerospace machined components and sub-assemblies for Airbus Industries makes Aequs SEZ one of the leading outsourcing hubs of this European aircraft major. Incidentally, Aequs SEZ, which has already made a mark of being the first Bharatiya private aerospace enterprise to position itself as a Tier-1 supplier to Airbus Industries, has supplied components and subsystems for many of the Airbus aircraft programmes. In this context, Dr Srinivasan Dwarakanath, Airbus India Managing Director says, “Over the next five years, Airbus’s cumulative sourcing volume in India is $2-billion which is roughly an average of $400-million per year”. And according to Olivier Cauquil, Senior Vice President (Materials and Parts Procurement) Airbus “We are proud to claim that today every Airbus aircraft is partly made in India and we fully support the ‘Make in India’ campaign. This state of the art aerospace manufacturing facility dedicated to Airbus represents a significant milestone in our journey with Aequs and in growing our Indian industrial co-operation footprint for the long term”.
The goal of Aequs SEZ, which currently focuses on precision machining, sheet metal fabrication, assembly, forging and special processing for major aerospace OEMS (Original Equipment Manufacturer), is to build an integrated aerospace eco-system where the customers can source all their requirements under one roof and in the process save time, money and logistics involved in outsourcing from multiple points across the world.
Aravind Melligeri, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aequs points out that the aerospace machining facility inaugurated by Parrikar underscores the commitment of Aequs to the global aerospace industry and Airbus Group. “Airbus has been a key customer for Aequs and I am confident that this new facility will further benefit Airbus’s global aerospace supply chain.” Melligeri has been quick to note that acquisitions as well as organic growth would steer the expansion plan of the Aequs Aerospace with a view to stay ahead in aerospace manufacturing sector. Giving details, Melligeri stated that manufacturing of aero-engine components and setting up sophisticated facilities for casting forms a part of the immediate term vision of Aequs. For Melligeri, the potentials of aerospace manufacturing in Bharat is as high as the sky.
Radhakrishna Rao from Belagavi (The writer is a freelance journalist who writes on science tech and defence related issues)